Fermentation quality and in vitro methane production of sorghum silage prepared with cellulase and lactic acid bacteria
Objective: The effects of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and cellulase enzyme on fermentation quality, microorganism population, chemical composition and in vitro gas production of sorghum silages were studied. Methods: Commercial inoculant Lactobacillus plantarum Chikuso 1 (CH), local selected strain Lactobacillus casei (L. casei) TH 14 and Acremonium cellulase (AC) were used as additives in sorghum silage preparation. Results: Prior to ensiling Sorghum contained 104 LAB and 106 cfu/g fresh matter coliform bacteria. The chemical compositions of sorghum was 26.6% dry matter (DM), 5.2% crude protein (CP), and 69.7% DM for neutral detergent fiber. At 30 days of fermentation after ensiling, the LAB counts increased to a dominant population; the coliform bacteria and molds decreased to below detectable level. All sorghum silages were good quality with a low pH (<3.5) and high lactic acid content (>66.9 g/kg DM). When silage was inoculated with TH14, the pH value was significantly (p<0.05) lower and the CP content significantly (p<0.05) higher compared to control, CH and AC-treatments. The ratio of in vitro methane production to total gas production and DM in TH 14 and TH 14+AC treatments were significantly (p<0.05) reduced compared with other treatments while in vitro dry matter digestibility and gas production did not differ among treatments. Conclusion: The results confirmed that L. casei TH14 could improve sorghum silage fermentation, inhibit protein degradation and decrease methane production.